Peter Sleeps

Peter resisted sleep for as long as he could by calling her name and remembering her blue eyes. But, it was how he killed his wife Ann that really kept him awake.

Peter took a chance she would not die where he killed her. He thought her the stronger and able to resist the urge to give up on life. At least until he got her to the hospital and he could be made the hero instead of a murderer. But, he was wrong. Ann was finished with this life and being killed by Peter satisfied her. Peter might have realized this if had not been too caught up trying to kill himself.

Peter thought that maybe Ann didn’t understand his selfishness and tried to stop him. No, they had been married for forty two years and it had worn on them. She wanted to die first. Too late, Peter decided they were in competition. He should have known this after their last argument when Ann told him she wanted to be dead.

“You’re the reason we don’t have children. You’re infertile,” she said.

“You’re the reason we don’t have friends. You’re depressing,” Peter said.

“In all these years, you are all I’m left with,” Ann said. A glimmer of hate spoke in her blue eyes.

“I have nothing to say to you after all these years,” Peter said. “This is all we have.”

That was how it would be with them, Peter decided. Of course, this left only one way out for him. Except, Ann thought this, too. He did not think she was that courageous.

As he held her face tight in his hands, Peter wondered if maybe in the end she really wanted to live. He remembered the look in her blue eyes that she was afraid of wrong decisions. He remembered seeing her face shut in anticipation of the death event. Peter wanted to tell her that it was the dying maple tree that he wanted to hit.

The failed effort not to hit his wife caused him to lose momentum and hit the tree only hard enough to leave him with bruises. He made the wrong decision trying to avoid her. He should have avoided her when they first met forty two years ago.

Upon her death, the thought that they were separated forever thrilled Peter. He believed in the real world again. It was survivable, he decided while looking down at his wife’s torn body. Peter saw a second chance at life that even jail could not dampen.

As he sat beside her body growing cold, a heavy limb from the damaged tree fell and crushed Peter’s head. He laid beside his dead wife underneath this dying tree trying to keep from going to sleep. Because, once he went sleep he would find himself beside his wife forever.

Published on April 1, 2011, by Ink Monkey